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Ho Chi Minh City reinstates social distancing measures amidst serious COVID-19 outbreak

Ho Chi Minh City reinstates social distancing measures amidst serious COVID-19 outbreak

Sunday, May 30, 2021, 17:25 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City reinstates social distancing measures amidst serious COVID-19 outbreak
Few vehicles travel on Ben Van Don Street in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City, May 30, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Social distancing measures will be reinstated in Ho Chi Minh City for 15 days from 0:00 on Monday following the direction of Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong.

During the meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control on Sunday morning, Chairman Phong asserted that the entire city has to follow social distancing measures under the prime minister’s Directive No. 15.

The directive specifies that a gathering or meeting with more than 20 people in one room is prohibited.

Although it stated that a gathering of more than 10 people outside office buildings, schools, and hospitals is not allowed, Chairman Phong has decided to lower the limit in the southern city to only five people.

People should keep a safe distance of at least two meters in public places, while non-essential businesses and services will remain closed.

All religious rites and activities with more than 20 participants in religious establishments as well as all cultural, sports, and recreational activities in public places are suspended.

All citizens, especially those above 60 years old, must only go outside when necessary and avoid coming to medical facilities except in emergency cases.

Meanwhile, people in Go Vap District and Thanh Loc Ward in District 12, the two largest hot spots in the city, will have to comply with stricter measures under the PM’s Directive No. 16.

Under this directive, all residents are required to stay home and can only go outside to buy food, supplies, medicine, and other essential goods and services.

People are also allowed to leave their homes in emergency cases, to seek medical examinations and treatment, or to go to work at factories and in other essential sectors.

People must keep a two-meter distance from one another, while the gathering of more than two people outside public offices, schools, and hospitals is forbidden.

Chairman Phong also ordered mass COVID-19 testing in the metropolis, with priorities given to staff members of election teams and people linked to the cluster at Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation based in Go Vap District.

He requested the health sector to gather more human resources to raise testing capacity to 50,000 samples per day.

More than 280,000 workers and 3,000 experts at local industrial parks and export processing zones will also be tested for COVID-19.

Vietnam has documented 7,107 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday evening, with 2,950 recoveries and 47 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

The country has recorded 4,034 local infections in 34 provinces and cities since April 27, including 157 cases in Ho Chi Minh City.

The largest cluster in the city, which traces back to the Revival Ekklesia Mission, has so far recorded more than 140 cases.

This is the second time Ho Chi Minh City has implemented social distancing measures since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The metropolis previously applied Directive No. 16 for 22 days in early April 2020.

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